Log In | Account Info
Cart | Checkout
Avenues of Faith, Avenues of Faith, 0817310762, 0-8173-1076-2, 978-0-8173-1076-9, 9780817310769, , , Avenues of Faith, 0817313583, 0-8173-1358-3, 978-0-8173-1358-6, 9780817313586, , , Avenues of Faith, 0817358471, 0-8173-5847-1, 978-0-8173-5847-1, 9780817358471,

Avenues of Faith
Shaping the Urban Religious Culture of Richmond, Virginia, 1900–1929

Trade Cloth
2001. 432 pp.
Price:  $59.95 s
E Book
2009. 428 pp.
14 B&W illustrations
Price:  $39.95 d
Quality Paper
2015. 428 pp.
14 B&W illustrations
Price:  $39.95 s

Avenues of Faith documents how religion flourished in southern cities after the turn of the century and how a cadre of clergy and laity created a notably progressive religious culture in Richmond, the bastion of the Old South. Famous as the former capital of the Confederacy, Richmond emerges as a dynamic and growing industrial city invigorated by the social activism of its Protestants.

By examining six mainline white denominations-Episcopalians, Methodists, Presbyterians, Baptists, Disciples of Christ, and Lutherans-Samuel C. Shepherd Jr. emphasizes the extent to which the city fostered religious diversity, even as "blind spots" remained in regard to Catholics, African Americans, Mormons, and Jews. Shepherd explores such topics as evangelism, interdenominational cooperation, the temperance campaign, the Sunday school movement, the international peace initiatives, and the expanding role of lay people of both sexes. He also notes the community's widespread rejection of fundamentalism, a religious phenomenon almost automatically associated with the South, and shows how it nurtured social reform to combat a host of urban problems associated with public health, education, housing, women's suffrage, prohibition, children, and prisons.

In lucid prose and with excellent use of primary sources, Shepherd delivers a fresh portrait of Richmond Protestants who embraced change and transformed their community, making it an active, progressive religious center of the New South.

Samuel C. Shepherd Jr. is professor of history at Centenary College in Shreveport, Louisiana.

“[Avenues of Faith] is important for several reasons. First, it provides a detailed account of the complex role of Protestantism in a southern city as the region was beginning to urbanize, adding to the many portraits we already have of northern urban Protestantism. Second, in his fine chapter on the fundamentalist-modernist controversy, Shepherd undermines the assumption that southerners consistently supported fundamentalism, demonstrating that Richmond Protestants rejected the extremes of fundamentalism in favor of theological diversity, practical evangelism, and religious civility. Third, Shepherd candidly chronicles the mixed, but ultimately timid, response of Richmond’s white Protestants to the issue of race relations.”
Church History: Studies in Christianity and Culture

“That the Menckenian stereotype of an implacably backward and reactionary southern religion has pretty much died out in the scholarly literature already (if not in the popular mind) in no way diminishes the value for scholars and research libraries of this specialized study of specifically urban (and urbane) religion in the Progressive-era South. . . . Shepherd’s solid work is a major contribution to the burgeoning field of southern religious history and is particularly welcome for its attention to progressivism in the urban South.”
American Historical Review

"A first-rate book…thoughtfully conceptualized and rationally organized…offering rich insight into the religious culture of the South."
—Willard B. Gatewood, author of "Aristocrats of Color."

"An altogether new perspective on religion in the American South. No other scholarly work uses an urban community context to explore in depth the parameters of religious life in the South."
—Charles Reagan Wilson, author of Judgement and Grace in Dixie and Director of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture

Also of Interest

Keeping the Faith
Wayne Flynt

Quest for a Christian America, 1800–1865
David Edwin Harrell Jr.

Sources of Division in the Disciples of Christ, 18
by David Edwin Harrell

Recovering the Margins of American Religious Histo
Edited by B. Dwain Waldrep, Scott Billingsley